Our next stop on our tour of Southern Spain was in Granada, home of the famous Alhambra. While here we would stay in another AC hotel.
Fountains on the grounds of the Generalife
Granada is at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains, only an hour or so from the Mediterranean coast, but also near Alpine skiing areas. We visited in late October, and the temperatures were comfortable for exploring outdoors, but noticeably cooler than when we were in Málaga in days prior.
Again we were staying in an AC hotel, now under the Marriott umbrella. This hotel also falls under the Autograph Collection, which defines as, “a diverse collection of high-personality independent hotels”. The Palacio de Santa Paula certainly fits that bill, being a former convent.
This was a beautiful old building, and while the rooms were small, the design was quite unique. It worked for our needs. The hotel is easy walking distance to numerous sites including the cathedral and the Puerta Real. One morning I went for an excellent run before the city was fully awake, and this was a great way to explore without much traffic or noise. We also could have walked to the Alhambra, but we opted to take a bus, which had a stop about a block away from the hotel.
View of our king room
bathroom with double sinks
Ceiling of our room
Our view of the courtyard and the entrance to our room. Certainly not a typical hotel
Some remnants of this property’s previous life as a convent
One of our favorite features of Granada, is the tradition of free tapas is still in place here. We would go to a restaurant, order a drink, and with each round, we would receive a free small plate. It would be olives, or some sausage, or something similar. This meant there was no choice, but it was kind of a nice feature. We could order from a menu as well, as we often did if we saw something specific that we wanted.
Some sausages as an example of tapas in Granada
Jamón ibérico de bellota
The Alhambra is one of the major tourist attractions in Spain. We pre-booked our tickets, and even a month or so out, we were unable to reserve tickets for all parts of the Alhambra. We just were unlucky for the day we decided to visit. We still got to see the bulk of the grounds of both the Alhambra and Generalife, just not some of the inner palaces which are very limited in terms of space, so few tickets are made available
Like the Alcazaba, the Alhambra palace and gardens was built by the Moors. It is pleasant both due to its architechural beauty as well as is very well maintained gardens.
I’ve really come to appreciate the Moorish architechure. I have no architechural training, but I love the symmetry, and in particular the arches.
Granada from the Alhambra
Granada was a little off the beaten path, but we thought it was worthy of a stop. The Palacio de Santa Paula was a nice convenient place to stay. I’d recommend both.